USDA: H1N1 in 6 Minnesota state fair pigs

The USDA has confirmed that final tests show that six pigs from the Minnesota State Fair contracted swine flu, three more than initial research had indicated.

The follow-up tests confirmed the presence of the H1N1 virus in six samples taken as a part of a university research project at the Minnesota State Fair between Aug. 26 and Sept. 1. The pigs were the first confirmed cases of H1N1 in the United States.

Officials say the pigs showed no signs of sickness and believe they contracted the virus from some of the nearly 1.8 million people who visited the fair.

Testing for the presence of 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza in the US swine herd is part of USDA's National Swine Influenza Virus Surveillance Plan. Additionally, understanding the diversity of influenza viruses circulating in pigs is important for pandemic preparedness. Because of this need and given the increase in sporadic human infections with swine influenza viruses that was identified through CDC surveillance, CDC and USDA entered into an interagency agreement in August 2008.

As part of that agreement, samples might be received from CDCsponsored studies seeking to understand which influenza viruses might be found in pigs at fair settings. Finally, private practitioners might collect and submit samples from swine or other species and submit those samples to state laboratories for initial screening, with suspect positive samples then submitted to NVSL.

Editor PigProgress

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